Our friends at Far North Spirits way up in Hallock, Minnesota have been up to some pretty interesting projects during the last few years. They are in the midst of a three year study with the University of Minnesota where they are growing different one-acre-plot heritage strains on rye grain. Far North Spirits harvests, mills, ferments, distills, and ages them all in the exact same way. Their process is the ‘control,’ and the experiment is on the actual rye strains themselves. This is a project unlike anything done before on a teeny tiny scale. France 44 only saw a few bottles of a couple of the strains in the past, so when the chance to purchase an entire barrel arose, we had to pounce on the opportunity. Meet our rye strain, Aroostook!
Each rye strain was aged for 18 months in small 15 gallon barrels. The yield for our Aroostook was only 48 bottles! (Talk about taking small production to a new level.) Aroostook is a seed variety released in 1981 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services. The whiskey itself is intensely rye forward, accented by notes of toffee, pecan, Fig Newton, prune, and chocolate. This whiskey is literally one acre of one rye, in one barrel. With only 48 bottles produced, it goes without saying that once it’s gone… it’s gone. Get it while you can!